Some netizens think it’s discrediting their success.
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Weverse Magazine recently published an article about the success of “K-Pop in America after BTS,” and netizens have very mixed reactions.
The article starts by sharing a statistic from “the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)’s annual Global Music Report, [that] BTS has been the best-selling artist for two years running.” The article documents BTS’s immense and indisputable impact on the American market and argues that no group will be able to achieve the same success by following the exact same process.
Such a view positions a number one on the Billboard 200, then a number one on the Hot 100, and then a Grammy as a kind of step-by-step assignment for conquering the US market. That may have been true in the past, but it’s not how things work anymore. The success of K-Pop and BTS with it has led to the expansion of a now more mature music industry. — Weverse Magazine
Weverse Magazine expresses the change in the industry by documenting fellow HYBE artist TXT‘s long-term success on the Billboard charts.
TOMORROW X TOGETHER’s minisode 2: Thursday’s Child debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 shortly after it was released in May, landing finally at number 179 for the week of August 27 after spending a full 14 weeks on the chart. This kind of performance can’t be achieved through sales that are concentrated in a one- or two-week period. — Weverse Magazine
Although, understandably, Weverse Magazine would talk about HYBE artists or even K-Pop idols who use Weverse, fans were incredibly confused when the magazine then began to speak about Stray Kids‘ success on the Billboard charts, focusing on the accolades mentioned in a controversial Billboard article about the group.
Stray Kids recently made the cover of the September 8 digital edition of Billboard, and the magazine put out a separate collector’s edition package for $35 dollars as well. As the subtitle on their feature article says, ‘With a No. 1 project and two mega-labels behind them, the K-Pop group and its fans are here to STAY.’ The article covers their recent US concerts and their April release, Oddinary, that debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. — Weverse Magazine
The article then focuses on Imperial Music, which they note is a label under Universal Music Group (whom HYBE is working closely with), promoting Stray Kids in America through different strategies.
[Stray Kids’] label, JYP Entertainment, is also working with Imperial Music, a label under Universal Music Group. According to the article, Imperial had started planning six months before the release of the EP to sell the limited-edition album package at major retailers in the US with the intention of reaching the top of the Billboard 200. — Weverse Magazine
The article even reports that Imperial Music “[plans] to target the radio waves starting with [Stray Kids’] next album.”
The article then praises NewJeans, who debuted under one of HYBE’s labels, for their success internationally and in South Korea.
Similarly, NewJeans were noted for their performance on both the Korean charts and Spotify’s global weekly and daily charts. — Weverse Magazine
The rest of the article focuses on how K-Pop distinguishes itself, identifying the demographics that consume K-Pop music and using TWICE (labelmates to Stray Kids who are also not on Weverse) as an example of determining “who to target” in the American market.
Let’s look at the concerts TWICE put on there back in February. The group put on nine performances in the US this year, with over 100,000 people coming out to see them and making over $16 million in revenue. It was a stunning turnout for a girl group in the US. TWICE doesn’t have the strong image that’s commonly known as the ‘girl crush’ style in Korea, meaning they were meticulous in planning who to target and how. That’s not to say it all happened overnight; TWICE spent two or three years carefully responding to the US market and targeting its consumers appropriately. What is this if not the very definition of success? — Weverse Magazine
Although the article highlighted the success of many different groups while focusing on proving that success in the American market can be achieved in different ways, netizens had extremely mixed reactions to the article, specifically the discussion of Stray Kids.
Many netizens felt that the discussion of Stray Kids was actually meant to discredit the group’s success, arguing that the article was trying to discredit Stray Kids’ immense achievement on the Billboard chart by downplaying the numbers as coming from the “limited edition album packages.”
"Sell limited edition album package in US so they can reach on top of bb200 "
Be serious Hybe ur grps are selling 8+ album versions in US to top on bb200. Straykids charted with only 3 versions. Again not the fault of skz ur grps are failing even after huge company payola. https://t.co/cGcNVywds9
— Myra✨ (@etheralino) September 21, 2022
skz always had limited editions but now its a problem for hybe cause they got a #1 and the hybe groups couldn't with shit ton of versions on top of writing abt them shamelessly the language of the article is so targeted and shady and simply discrediting skz SO FUCKING NASTY BRUH
— #BadBitchSeungminDay (@titskz) September 21, 2022
Some fans pointed out (and joked) that they hadn’t heard anything about Stray Kids using radio play for their upcoming album MAXIDENT, so it was odd that the article mentioned it.
Netizens also felt it was unfair that the article would focus on Stray Kids and not the success of ENHYPEN (who are under HYBE), who also deserve credit for their achievements.
Still, other netizens believe that the article was complimentary to Stray Kids and TWICE as it did highlight their impressive success in a difficult industry, arguing that they want JYP Entertainment to praise their groups in the same way.
hybe has 5 groups who r successful & they could’ve wrote an article about them, but the first thing they got in mind was stray kids 😭? and its the longest paragraph too https://t.co/TdqIexJYUG
— SEUNGMIN DAY 🎀 (@httpnicha) September 21, 2022
What are your thoughts?